This European recording was made by the Gramophone and Typewriter Company in Milan Italy in 1903, it was the first song every written expressly for the Gramophone. And is another creator record, not only by the singer but by the fact that the composer is playing the piano as well.
July 7, 2007 Subject:
I first heard this recording about 30 years ago. I had heard many recordings of Caruso later in his career and I had mixed feelings about how highly he was regarded. When I heard this, it seemed to validate for me just how talented he was. This was Caruso in his prime, before the demands on his time and voice took their toll. His voice is fresh and he moves easily through a song that is actually quite difficult. Most importantly, he captures the essence of Neapolitan song. Later recordings of this song are often lush with full orchestra, and in the case of, say, Bjoerling, downright fantastic. This recording, however, captures the lilt and colloquial "feel" of the genre. You might be sitting at a small cafe and hear it sung in the distance or from a window. Having Leoncavallo accompany is certainly an historical curiosity, but it also allows us to infer that this is a definitive interpretation. It seems logical to assume that the composer would guide his hand-picked performer to the best possible performance. The recording quality is antique, yet it is almost impossible to imagine it any differently. One man's opinion mind you, but in the history of vocal recording, I believe this to be one of the truly important recordings. Add it to your collection; you will never tire of hearing it.
Wow - this is a great recording, and it even has Ruggero Leoncavallo playing the piano along with Caruso singing! It's not in bad shape for a recording of 103 years. I've got the re-procesed version of this, but it's no where near as nice.
June 11, 2005 Subject:
Nice Caruso record here, you can hear him nicely here, the instruments don't overwhelm his voice (thank goodness) and it's all very good.